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All Rise! The Soufflé Is Chefs’ Comfort Food of Choice This Year

In uncertain times, restaurateurs say it’s a dish that “makes people happy.”

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Photographer: Rachel Vanni

At a time when hand sanitizer is more valuable than luxury ingredients like lobster, an unexpected item is animating restaurant menus across the country. The soufflé, that classic French dish made from whipped egg whites, is popping up—pun intended—in dining rooms from coast to coast. The reasons aren’t entirely clear, except soufflés seem to delight chefs as much as they do customers. 

In the U.S., soufflés had their last true star turn in the late ’70s during the heyday of Julia Child. The dish never disappeared from menus, but it also never made much noise.